Competitive Edge
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Competitive Edge
Creating your Unique Value Proposition to gain your Competitive Edge.
Curated by Marc Kneepkens
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The Importance of Staying True to Your Roots as an Entrepreneur

The Importance of Staying True to Your Roots as an Entrepreneur | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Staying true to your industry’s roots can return great value to a niche entrepreneurial business.

Should you stay or should you go? This is a question many aspiring entrepreneurs ponder as they are building their startup dream on the side while working a full-time job. It can be a tricky time, as many people need a stable income but also want to focus more time on their entrepreneurial endeavor. So when someone is finally able to quit their 9-to-5 job to pursue their passion, some founders never look back. I recommend taking caution before straying too far from your roots.

Quite often, an entrepreneur's pursuit stems from an area she is an expert in -- a field she has been working in for some time. So why someone would choose to throw away valuable resources established during the course of her career is anyone's guess.

For 10 years, I practiced (and still do) as a registered dental hygienist treating patients. But that was only half the story. In that position, it also became clear that there was a significant need for an online portal focused on connecting dental professionals. I decided to launch DentalPost to fill that void. Because the platform grew so quickly, I began working less and less in the office to dedicate more attention it.  Eventually, I made the conscious decision to don my hygienist coat and return to the dental office once a week, shifting my focus from the tech world back to my physical practice and patients.

Staying true to your industry’s roots can return great value to a niche entrepreneurial business.

Here are a few tips to consider:

Keep more than a foot in the industry door. Nothing substitutes in-person networking and putting live, smiling faces to names. As an entrepreneur you are your brand, the physical representation of your product or service. As you network with others in your field, talk about your business in the context of your physical job. This reinforces credibility and shows you practice what you profess.

Remember real world means real-time marketing research.  We can all learn more about trends and pain points in our industry by standing at coffee pots than by reading comment boxes on your website or social-media pages. Office work allows you to see firsthand the customer side, the employee side and provider side of things. By keeping yourself entrenched in the industry, you are right there among other professionals and constantly hear stories and feedback about “inside” issues and trends. This makes your niche business better. You are able to understand the needs of its players -- who also happen to be your users.

Seek continual inspiration. Consider where you can find inspiration to take your idea to the next level,or reaffirm your commitment to serving your target audience.  I originally fell in love with the dental industry because of the personal connections I foster with my patients. I establish relationships, offer comfort and, in some cases, even help save lives.

Keeping yourself involved in your industry (once a week or a few times a month) and staying true to your entrepreneurial roots keeps you connected.  With this grounding, you will never lose sight of why you built your venture in the first place.


 Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km



Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Inspiration comes mostly from what you know and experience. It's a huge treasure, keep on nurturing it.

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StartupVitamins: Quotes for Startups

StartupVitamins: Quotes for Startups | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Startup Vitamins provides inspiration and motivation for startups - and supports them too!
Startup Vitamins is a recently launched project, which offers inspiring posters with sayings from industry leaders such as Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Jason Fried, and more.

Profit from sold posters goes towards supporting various organizations, which develop and bring value to the startup community. Currently profits are split between StartupWeekend and Garage48, both of which help ideas come to life around the world


See more Quotes? Want it in your office? Order a Poster, Canvas, Mug, Sticker or Framed Print from StartupVitamins . Click here, support Startups, motivate yourself.

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Exactly. Having the 'great idea' is only valid when you do something with it. The 'competitive edge' appears after the hard work is done.

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Scoop.it StartupVitamins: Quotes for Startup

Scoop.it StartupVitamins: Quotes for Startup | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Startup Vitamins provides inspiration and motivation for startups - and supports them too!
Startup Vitamins is a recently launched project, which offers inspiring posters with sayings from industry leaders such as Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Jason Fried, and more.

Profit from sold posters goes towards supporting various organizations, which develop and bring value to the startup community. Currently profits are split between StartupWeekend and Garage48, both of which help ideas come to life around the world


See more Quotes? Want it in your office? Order a Poster, Canvas, Mug, Sticker or Framed Print from StartupVitamins . Click here, support Startups, motivate yourself.

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Another great quote from Herb Kelleher, Southwest Airlines.

You're working with people. It does matter what kind of people they are, they can't just be "high tech robots". People matter.


See more Quotes? Want it in your office? Order a Poster, Canvas, Mug, Sticker or Framed Print from StartupVitamins . Click here, support Startups, motivate yourself.

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Richard Branson on the Best Places to Find Inspiration

Richard Branson on the Best Places to Find Inspiration | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Getting inspired to start a new business means paying attention to the world around you. Here's how Virgin's CEO seeks out his own inspiration.

Entrepreneur Richard Branson regularly shares his business experience and advice with readers. Ask him a question and your query might be the inspiration for a future column.

Q: Where do you go to find inspiration? -- Tomas Jonsson

Most entrepreneurs dream of having an idea that changes the world -- of inspiration that comes in a flash, like Sir Isaac Newton and his apple, and results in a business that transforms an industry. And a few ideas have come to me out of nowhere, as if someone had flicked on a light switch, but I've learned over time that most good ideas take a lot longer to formulate and are the result of steady observation.

My best sources of inspiration come from the everyday frustrations I encounter at work and in my personal life. Simply taking note of them can lead to great ideas, because if you follow up and find that you can offer consumers a better solution than the ones currently on the market, you may soon be running a successful business.

To read the full article, click on the title.


Get your Free Business Plan Template here:

http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

My experience is similar. Once in a while I get a great idea out of nowhere, but often it is all about improving or looking for solutions for existing problems.

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Scoop.it StartupVitamins: Quotes for Startup

Scoop.it StartupVitamins: Quotes for Startup | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Startup Vitamins provides inspiration and motivation for startups - and supports them too!Startup Vitamins is a recently launched project, which offers inspiring posters with sayings from industry leaders such as Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Jason Fried, and more.Profit from sold posters goes towards supporting various organizations, which develop and bring value to the startup community. Currently profits are split between StartupWeekend and Garage48, both of which help ideas come to life around the worldSee more Quotes? Want it in your office? Order a Poster, Canvas, Mug, Sticker or Framed Print from StartupVitamins . Click here, support Startups, motivate yourself.
Marc Kneepkens's insight:
I love this one.
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15 Business Card Designs That Will Leave An Impression

15 Business Card Designs That Will Leave An Impression | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

If you are asked to recall your favorite business card, I bet you don’t have an answer for it. No worries, me neither because who notices the generic look for business cards? Fact of the matter is, for many people, their business card is also a promotional tool for them, particularly when they are not attached to any organization – and some of them are really great attention-grabbers.

While most of us will fall back on a business card template or the minimalistic style, after going through all the considerations required of the card that will sell your services for you, sometimes it’s good to just let down your hair and have fun with it.

In this post we will show you 15 business cards that are anything but regular or normal. These cards will make you want to play with them.

To read the full article, and see some awesome desings, click on the title.


Get your Free Business Plan Template here:

http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

This is really very creative, and I bet it's also very effective. Some of these designs are just incredible. Love it!

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